Powell Aide Calls Bush "Sarah Palin-Like President"

Posted: Updated:

In its "Oral History of the Bush White House," Vanity Fair hears from Lawrence Wilkerson. The former top aide to Colin Powell compares our current president to none other than Sarah Palin:

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell: We had this confluence of characters--and I use that term very carefully--that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be "the dream team." It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president--because, let's face it, that's what he was--was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire. What in effect happened was that a very astute, probably the most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur I've ever run into in my life became the vice president of the United States.

Spencer Ackerman asks whether this comparison is more insulting to Bush or to Palin. Matthew Yglesias says its no contest:

I'm going to say "more insulting to Palin." Palin's something of a laughingstock, but Bush is a villain. I mean, he wrecked the world economy, he led to millions of Iraqis being forced to flee their homes, he's a total disaster and a disgrace. Palin gave bad answers in TV interviews. There's no real comparison.

Steve Benen counters that Palin hasn't had her chance:

[I]f we put aside the question of corollaries and consider Bush's and Palin's characteristics as politicians and would-be leaders, the comparison isn't too far-fetched. Both were out of their depth seeking national office, both are strikingly uninformed, both suffer from an eerie misguided confidence, and both seem to consider policy details as minor annoyances to be ignored.

Sure, Palin wasn't able to do serious national (and international) damage, but isn't it fair to say both she and Bush are cut from the same cloth?